2. Start folding your tees and clothes so they stack vertically in drawers or bins.
This is Marie Kondo’s version of folding, which you can read more about here and in her book, The Life-Changing Magic of Tidying Up. True, it may not look like it makes your life easier, but as someone who does it regularly, I can attest — the time you save looking for just the right piece of clothing in the morning makes a difference.
3. Store your out-of-season and bulky clothing in decorative containers outside of your closet, if your closet is extra small.
In this master bedroom, a picnic basket doubles as a side table and out-of-season PJ storage; a vintage trunk sits at the end of the bed and holds wool sweaters, and decorative suitcases sitting on top of the armoire hide swimsuits in the winter and hats and scarves in the summer.
5. Clip the hats you wear most to the wall, using removable adhesive strips and clothespins.
This is a very beautiful, stylized display, but the idea would work well to make a hat rack on the narrow inside wall of a small closet, too. And baseball caps would happily even hook onto the top part of the pins. Read the how-to here.
11. Hang a tension rod beneath your kitchen sink to store sponges and spray bottles as needed.
Just make sure it’s heavy duty enough that it won’t fall with the weight of the bottles; most should be fine. If you’re also planning to decant your dishwasher tablets just make sure your kids are old enough to know they’re not candy. Here’s the tutorial.
13. Whip your refrigerator into shape using bins — one for cheese, one for fruits, and so on.
And if you’re the sort of person who keeps their veggies in the veggie drawer and their fruits in the fruits drawer, then of course you can keep your yogurt in a bin, instead. Opt for taller bins so you can optimize all of the vertical space. You can find inexpensive ones at your local dollar store, or upgrade to these transparent ones that let you see exactly what’s inside, $20.86 each. Read more about fridge organizing here.
14. Organize your spices in small mason jars to make them easy to scoop and measure out.
Then, if you’re storing them in a drawer, you can write their names on their lids and keep them in alphabetical order, like in this tutorial. Or, if you’re storing them in a cabinet or rack, you can write their names on the sides of the jars.
15. Roll your dish towels or dish rags up and store them in a wine rack on your countertop to make them easy to grab.
Keep it next to your sink so a clean towel is always within reach. This is especially helpful if you like to use a dishcloth instead of a sponge for cleaning, because you can get a new one at the beginning of each day and toss the previous day’s in the laundry. From here.
16. Stash lazy Susans in the corners of your pantry in order to make every inch of space easily accessible.
In this makeover, they moved around supports in the pantry and made the lazy Susans built-ins, but you could just buy a few lazy Susans and put them in the corner to get a similar effect.
20. And don’t forget to take advantage of the inside of your cabinet’s doors.
Hang baskets using removable adhesive strips. Of course, you’ll want to make sure that you can still closet the cabinet doors with whatever else you have sitting *inside* the cabinet. Read more about how this cabinet’s organized here.
23. Nail four pieces of wood together to make an above-toilet storage ladder that doubles as storage and another towel bar.
You can stain it so it looks rustic like the photo above, or you can simply sand it and paint it white or an accent color or whatever you’d like. Here’s the tutorial.
26. Fold your sheets and towels up and store them in baskets in your linen closet to keep things neat.
Baskets also work to store extra soaps, those first aid supplies and medicines, and everything else you need in your bathroom. Keeping things in baskets makes it easy to pull out exactly what you need without having to dig through piles of linens. See more of this closet here.
28. Go through the piles of papers that you have stored and sort them according to Marie Kondo’s method.
The system has you sort into two main categories: things you need frequently, and things you need less frequently. And then, you don’t sort the papers any further. Read about one person’s experience with it here.
29. Or try a three-bin “command center” for sorting mail and other papers.
You can go for a more detailed filing box system, but a simpler system like this one is easier to use and harder to ignore. You could even simplify it to two boxes: outbox, and needs attention. Read more about it here.
30. Put together a filing bin to store all of your kiddo’s best and most important school papers and artwork.
You won’t be able to keep everything, of course, but at the end of each year you can pick out some of the best and most important pieces to keep in the bin. Then…put it all out at their high school graduation party. 🙂 Read more about the system here.
31. Keep a small accordion folder in your car’s glove box to make all of those essential papers easy to find when you need them.
35. Flip an old stool over, screw in a few casters, and use it as a portable gift wrap station.
It will make holiday wrapping so much easier, but when you’re in between holidays, you can use it to store birthday paper and other papers (plus supplies like tape, scissors, and bows) so they’re easy to access when you need them. Get the full how-to here.
36. Instead of trying to hit Inbox Zero all the time (although it’s great for you if you can), sort your emails into three simple folders: follow up, archive, and reference.
This is sort of similar to the way you can organize your paper mail and letters, except it’s for EMAIL. Read more about why this system works here.
37. Mute big email threads so you don’t get distracted by random messages.
Depending on your work culture, you may be included on a big email that you really don’t need to be a part of. Instead of trying to delete it each time someone emails the thread, “mute” it. On Gmail, it’s under the “More” tab. On Outlook it’s a little more complicated, but here’s how.
41. Find a to-do list system that works for you.